20th April 2021

Thirty local community organisations and groups which help people with their mental health and wellbeing have launched new projects as part of Lincolnshire’s Managed Care Network.

The Managed Care Network is an alliance of groups and organisations that provide a range of activities and services to give people support, structure and choice in their lives, and help maintain their wellbeing in the community. Activities include peer to peer support, sporting and other outdoor activities, creative art sessions, learning different skills, developing coping strategies, meeting new people and taking on challenges.

Collectively, these projects aim to support people to live independently in their local communities, reduce social isolation, and build stronger connections and networks with local people. Working in partnership, funding comes directly from Lincolnshire County Council and is managed by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).

One of the organisations receiving funding for the first time includes Active Arena in Lincoln, which is using the funds for their ‘Dads and Lads’ project.

Stacey Hone, Director of Active Arena in Lincoln, said:

“By receiving this investment for our Dads and Lads project, we can help to break down barriers and remove stigma around men accessing mental health support. By using football as a positive physical activity, we believe it gives men a much needed opportunity to take part, find enjoyment and have the time to talk.”

The network is also continuing to support Sage Gardener CIC, which is a Community Interest Company based in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside. The group offers engaging gardening, exercise and creative sessions for people living with mental ill health or dementia.

Jane Newman, Director of Sage Gardener CIC, said:

“It is invaluable to be able to have continued support and funding at the moment when so many of our clients are really struggling with the pandemic. We are now able to support people in a flexible and appropriate way to assist with their wellbeing and recovery. This new funding will pilot our Nature’s Pathways programme and during the next year, we will be establishing workshops and resources to support many vulnerable people by using the outdoors.

“Last year we focused on supporting older groups, carers, and people living with dementia, as well as those who are feeling isolated and lonely. Our team helped individuals by brightening long days with phone calls, befriending, and wellbeing, gardening, craft and recipe ideas to learn during lockdown. We used our safe environment and unusual activities such as wild cooking and shinrin yoku (forest bathing) to encourage people to venture out into the natural outdoors and resume some form of safe interaction with others whilst learning new skills.”

Glen Garrod, Lincolnshire County Council's Executive Director of Adult Care and Community Wellbeing, said:

"It's important to have good quality, effective mental health support for people who need it going forward. This is even more vital as we come out from a pandemic that has meant long periods of isolation for many people. Both mental and physical wellbeing is going to be a major recovery step for people, helping them to live independently, meet family and friends again and build connections they have lost. These community projects will play a huge part in this support."

Jane Marshall, Director of Strategy, People and Partnerships at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, added:

“We are delighted that with the tenth wave of the Mental Health Promotion Fund, we can continue to develop and support networks within our communities for people with mental health problems.

“With this round of funding, our key aims are to reduce social isolation by building stronger community networks, and prevent hospital admission by enabling people to better take care of their physical and mental health needs. We recognise the importance of supporting these fantastic community groups and the mental health benefits of learning new skills and accessing new opportunities.”

Details about all of the activities and groups available are on the Trust’s website at www.lpft.nhs.uk/MCN

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